Former Glory captain joins Football West

Football West have announced former Perth Glory captain Gareth Naven as their new Youth Development Officer.

Naven went into coaching after his playing career, spending six years at the Glory and three-and-a-half years at Melbourne Victory.

In his new role, Naven will be involved in elite technical programs such as the Technical Support Program (TSP) and the Skill Acquisition Phase (SAP) for girls.

He will also help choose and coach many of the Gold Fields State Teams.

“This is a great opportunity to come back to Perth and work with the young players coming through,” Naven said.

“I am happiest when I am out there, on the training pitch. The biggest thing for me is – what are the kids good at and how can we make them great at it?

“It is about delivering quality content but also making sure the kids enjoy playing, so they want to come back to another session, another game.”

Naven added: “The focus changes for players as they get older. Between nine and 12, they are the foundation years where we get players to love playing and have fun. Then you get the 13 to 16-year-olds, where it is about game awareness and understanding. And 17 and over, it’s about finishing it off, the performance end of their development.”

Naven will be the third member to hold an AFC/FFA Pro Diploma in the Football West Development Department, alongside Head of Development Jamie Harnwell and Technical Manager Cris Ola.

“Yes, I played with Jamie at the back end of my career, for about two years,” Naven said.

“He’s also from Perth and followed a similar path to me coming through. We both understand the landscape very well.”

Harnwell is excited to reunite with Naven at Football West.

He said: “It is a fantastic coup for Football West to be able to bring someone of the calibre of Gareth Naven to the organisation as our Youth Development Officer.

“Gareth has worked at the highest level of development in this country during his time with Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory and I am looking forward to him sharing that knowledge, not only with the players through programs such as our Talent Support Program or Gold Fields Australia WA State teams, but also with club technical directors and coaches.

“This is another indication of the investment that Football West is making to raise the technical standards across the game in WA.”

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Football Queensland and Roar Football in the Community program to capitalise on growth

Football Queensland (FQ) have announced a partnership with A-League staple Brisbane Roar as the member federation continues to build towards their 2026 strategic growth plan.

The two organisations have combined to launch a community incentive, titled ‘Football Queensland and Roar Football in the Community’.

As a result of the collaboration, it is an Australian first – as no club across the country has experienced a feat  which is being exhibited in Queensland between the Roar and governing body.

This gound-breaking alliance has effectively reinforced the established relationship between the state and one of the country’s most renowned football clubs, drawing emphasis upon the strategy of building upon the ongoing development and support of football within Queensland.

Football Queensland and Roar Football in the Community will deliver a vast variety of grassroots football clinics, sessions, events and community engagement programs to young aspiring boy and girl participants.

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his assertiveness in FQ hitting the 2026 strategy plan, with the newly found partnership a step in the right direction.

“Combining our strong ties to the grassroots football community with Brisbane Roar’s connection to football fans across the state ensures we can implement best practice delivery methods to unite the game in Queensland,” he said via media release.

Brisbane Roar FC Chairman & CEO Kaz Patafta discussed his admiration towards the expansion of the Club’s reach in the new state wide opportunity.

“We’re delighted to expand Brisbane Roar FC’s reach throughout the Queensland football community as we continue working collaboratively with Football Queensland to pave the way for innovative and strategic opportunities for the game,” he added via press release.

This community program intends on introducing young boys and girls to the sport of football, in attempts to increase participation numbers.

It is a strict objective in which FQ are adamant in achieving, all in accordance to their 2024-2026 Development Strategy.

Additionally, the programs created are crafted for children across the state of Queensland, with a database featured on the community program website, allowing parents to navigate the closest programs within their respective area of the state.

Schools are also invited to become involved – find out more about Football in the Community here:

Volunteers valued throughout nationwide week in their honour

Volunteers are the backbone of sports clubs across the nation, within the lifespan of a successful club, volunteers throughout generations are selflessly involved.

National Volunteer Week 2024 is an incentive created by Volunteering Australia (VA) who have continued the promotion of volunteers since their inception in 1991.

Founded under the National Secretariat Program, VA are the peak organisation for volunteers across the country.

National Volunteer week has officially began, with its conclusion occurring on Sunday.

Coaches, administrators, referees and team managers all fall under the plethora of volunteers in whom without it the day to day living organism of a club would cease to exist.

Selfless within the endeavours undertaken, volunteers dedicate time and effort at the betterment of a sports club.

Playing a pivotal role in various aspects of a sports club operations. They are the unsung heroes in building chemistry amongst players, club participants and officials.

Unifying a broader community under the umbrella of a sporting entity.

Football across the nation have showcased their appreciation towards volunteers.

Football NSW have swiftly acknowledged the continuous contributions made by volunteers throughout the state by disclosing their participation within the week.

As stated on their website, Football NSW CEO John Tsatsimas touched upon the importance in which volunteers possess.

“Every week we see thousands of dedicated volunteers, committed administrators, and mums and dads giving their time to ensure our players of all ages can enjoy the beautiful game.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our game – the grassroots appeal of our game would not be what it is without their passion for the sport and undying commitment to their local club and community.”

Football NSW are honouring the volunteers within the state through Football NSW Champion Volunteer Pieces, all to be presented across social media platforms and the NSW website throughout the duration of volunteer week.

Additionally, the theme for this year’s annual National Volunteer Week is “Something for Everyone”. Placing a firm emphasis upon recognition of diversity within the volunteering community.

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